Read Mission

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The Mission

Earn for all times the title Master Craftsman by producing the finest maker’s collection of beads in human history.

The Technique

Divide glass beadmaking into fifty individual studies and by keeping a small percentage of that work over a thirty year period, build a monument to the craft.

The Collection

A doctoral dissertation to the title Master Glass Bead Craftsman, the American Trade Bead Permanent Collection grows daily and currently holds more than three thousand objects.

Collection Characteristics

The goal is an object group whose qualities allow it to boggle the mind of history. Those qualities are believed to be:

  • Magnitude – In terms of total number of individual pieces, when completed the collection will be in a class of its own; potentially far more than ten thousand objects.
  • Variety – When completed, the collection will be composed of fifty one distinct design groups. Each of these design groups will be individually represented in the collection. Each group’s presentation is composed of different designs (mostly beads, jewelry components and small vessels), many designs being represented by multiple objects. Fifty plus design groups, dozens of volume illustrated designs in each group, means this collection is composed of thousands of highly varied objects.
  • Cohesiveness – Remarkable object collections demonstrate strong unifying forces. The thousands of individuals items in the ATB Permanent Collection are linked by aesthetic, function and process. The collection has a strong voice because it documents the craftsmen who created it as they learn to become masters of their trade, a process that is all about honing specialty skills.
  • Reference Value – The ATB Permanent Collection is an encyclopedic like study of glass making. The fifty one design groups in the collection are defined by particular and narrow aspects of glassworking study; the presentation of each group in the final collection a deliberate report done in finished objects on that study. During its construction, the collection served as reference to its maker, assisting them in their learning process. After its completion, the collection is designed to serve as one of the finest – and one of the most unique – teaching tools in the history of glass, assisting generations in their learning process .
  • Originality of concept – The American Trade Bead Permanent Collection may be the first of its kind.
    Inspirational power – The ATP Permanent Collection calls out to all future makers of beads, challenging them to preserve the best of themselves and their careers for history.
  • Vocational Prowess – My collection pays homage to the title Master Craftsman and to the capabilities of both lampworking and lampworkers. The method of collection assembly is simple, I keep all of my “best-of-the-best” objects; for every ten things that come out of the studio at least one will be kept as material for the collection. All of the highest quality work produced by a single studio, who for thirty years sought to exemplify its trade, assembled into one display for the purpose of illustrating the powerful possibilities of both process and people.
  • Historical Appeal – The history of glass art and of the tradition of lampworking has been forever altered by contemporary borosilicate glass pipe makers, the magnitude of their advances to material, process, object and market dwarfed only by their culture of creative vitality and enthusiastic competition. My permanent collection is an object illustrated history of the advances brought by the contemporary glass pipe movement done in beads, preserved forever in a format that will allow the collectors and makers of the future to absorb and further advance the innovative spirit of this movement.
  • Documentation historical appeal))
  • a visual contemporization of the glass trade bead
  • an illustration of craft’s leadership ability in American society
  • Its ability to challenge lampworkers of the future saying, dude you can do this challengin furture generations.
  • Its ability to be icon for lampworking, a voice for lampworking a symbol of possibility and achievement.
  • It’s ability to open up discussion as the the voice of real trade beads – a reply to the historical voice of real slave and trade beads
  • Revolutionary – This collection is an attempt to disrupt the pattern of ,
  • It’s power to alter the hierarchy of glass art – attempt to reorder the position of glass bead in the the hierarchy of glass art
  • Honesty – This collection is what it is; it’s the truth in a very powerful sencnce. All that was acheaved by skill and by production of item is there. The best of what oculd be had is there. If you don’t like that . . . . The heady skills of master craftsmanship can’t be bought, they must be earned. The currency of our achievements, all of it, all of the truth of literally on the table in our permanent collection. There is very little room for debate. The look is narrow, it’s a spacifc look it appeals to some andnot to others, The view has the opertunity to render some hoenst judegemtns; do they like the asthetic of the work? just somegroups and not others? are the itms made with skill, how can you tell. In what ways could the work, chould the work have been better?
  • Spirituality – Craft is a spiritual pursuit; our permanent collection, our studio, the operation of our business, all are designed as investments into that fact. For its makers, the individual items in the permanent collection are stones from the river Jordan. This studio offers its labors professional preparedness, it carries before them the concept of the collection and makes the way safe for creativity. The studio is a trade space where a maker comes to be still, to be themselves and to grow abath in the presence of creation. The permanent collection is a method its makers use to remember, celebrate and share their lives.
  • employment model, model employer
  • remember who we have be come and the safe path that we have followed.
  • studio as a place, cycle charactor
  • The disciplined environment of the studio that asks for consistent creative and technical advancement while mandating that the work produced fit conceptually, aesthetically and functionally narrow design parameters; this learning process and mentality has been fixed from day one on the objective of permanent collection.


The collection currently numbers about two thousand pieces. Eighteen of the proposed fifty-five design groups have been established. The collection is slated for completion in July of 2035.


Oh, yes . . . .

21 Responses to Read Mission

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  2. Pingback: Fresh Keepers – October, November, 2011 « American Trade Bead

  3. Pingback: Harold Williams Cooney – Favorite Five, again « American Trade Bead

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  5. Pingback: Harold Williams Cooney – Favorite Five, again « American Trade Bead – Harold Williams Cooney

  6. Pingback: Timothy Lortie – Favorite Five « American Trade Bead – Harold Williams Cooney

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  8. Pingback: Favorite Five – Steve Rhoades « American Trade Bead – Harold Williams Cooney

  9. Pingback: Fresh and For Sale: Thursday 5/3/12 « American Trade Bead – Harold Williams Cooney

  10. I admire your focus. That’s the one thing I lack. I get bored too easily. Lampwork is just one of the many skills under my belt, but I’m nowhere near a master. It’s just one of many things I like to incorporate into my designs. I’m a mix and match girl ; ) .Kudos!!! I’ll be looking forward to seeing the collection in 2035. And saving my pennies to buy some of those beads that don’t quite make the cut in the meantime.

  11. Pingback: Fresh and For Sale: Friday 5/4/12 « American Trade Bead – Harold Williams Cooney

  12. Pingback: Fresh and For Sale: Wednesday 6/6/12 « American Trade Bead – Harold Williams Cooney

  13. Pingback: Fresh and For Sale: Wednesday 6/13/12 « American Trade Bead – Harold Williams Cooney

  14. Pingback: Fresh and For Sale: Tuesday 6/19/12 « American Trade Bead – Harold Williams Cooney

  15. Pingback: Fresh and For Sale: Friday 6/22/12 « American Trade Bead – Harold Williams Cooney

  16. Hello again Harold. I am the dentist you helped years ago to make rings. Thank you for your encouragement and help. I see you continue to make your way honestly and excellently! If you might be interested in trading dental services for glass instruction, I would be honored. I have a place for you to stay, a little glass studio, and a large dental practice. Either way, you were a very happy coincidence in the universe when I met you and I hope all goes well with you. Take care, CrystalBill

    • Bill! Word, brother, glad to hear from you again.

      I have sent you a message through Etsy as well: YES, I would love to help you continue your learning path with glass. You helping my teeth sounds great too.

      Please email me via or call 720-270-7947

      Hope you are well, be happy to talk with you.

      Work hard,


  17. Pingback: Fresh and For Sale: Monday 6/25/12 « American Trade Bead – Harold Williams Cooney

  18. Pingback: Fresh and For Sale: Friday 6/29/12 « American Trade Bead – Harold Williams Cooney

  19. Pingback: Fresh and For Sale: Thursday 7/12/12 « American Trade Bead – Harold Williams Cooney

  20. Pingback: Fresh and For Sale: Friday 7/13/12 « American Trade Bead – Harold Williams Cooney

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